Friday, February 10, 2012

Adam Our Father and Our Head

Lately I've been posting a couple old LDS perspectives on the idea (once held in LDS circles) of Adam as father, head of the human race, and even as God. As a counterpoint, I'd like to share a hymn by Isaac Watts, which I extract now from its appearance (with highly modified text) as Hymn 42 ("Original sin; or the first and second ADAM") in Joshua Smith, et al., Divine Hymns, or Spiritual Songs, for the Use of Religious Assemblies and Private Christians, 7th ed. (Elizabethtown: J. Woods, 1800), 47-48. Really, only the first verse is directly relevant, but I find the whole thing to be beautiful.
Adam, our father and our head,
Transgres'd, and justice doom'd us dead,
The fiery law speaks all despair,
There's no reprieve nor pardon there.

Call a bright council in the skies,
Seraphs, the mighty and the wise,
Speak; are you strong to bear the load,
The weighty vengeance of a God?

In vain we ask; for all around
Stand silent thro' the heavenly ground;
There's not a glorious mind above,
Has half the strength, or half the love.

But O! unmeasurable grace!
The eternal Son takes Adam's place;
Down to our world the Savior flies,
Stretches his naked arms and dies.

Amazing work! look down ye skies,
Wonder and gaze with all your eyes;
Ye saints below and saints above,
All bow to this mysterious love.

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